Snapchat

Snapchat

Snap reveals financial numbers in IPO filing, will expand Spectacles sales

Get ready for the next big tech business to go public. Snap, the parent company of the popular Snapchat app, revealed its financial numbers today in its IPO filing, along with plans to expand sales of its Spectacles tech glasses.

See also:

How to use Snapchat on Android

May 10, 2016

In its filing late today with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Snap said it currently had 158 million people using Snapchat on a daily basis. and that over 2.5 billion Snaps are created every day. It had just $58 million in revenues in 2015, but it greatly improved those numbers to $404.5 million in 2016. The bad news? The company is not yet profitable; in fact it lost a whopping $514.6 million last year.

One interesting tidbit in the filing is that Snapchat entered into a contract with Google just a few days ago on Jan. 30. Specifically, the company will be using the Google Cloud platform for at least five years, and will pay Google $400 million a year for that privilege, for a total of $2 billion. The contract is not quite exclusive as Snapchat does have the right to use other companies for some of its cloud services. Even with this contract in place, the filing admits that development of Snapchat apps gets more attention on iOS than Android, simply because the app itself is more popular on Apple’s platform.

Snap reveals financial numbers in IPO filing, will expand Spectacles sales

The filing also mentions that Spectacles will be sold more widely in the future. The camera sunglasses, which record short video clips that can be sent directly to the Snapchat app, were launched in late 2016 in a popup store in New York City and in a vending machine that toured the country. Today, Snap said it will “significantly broaden the distribution of Spectacles” in the future, but specifics were not revealed.

The company says that it will officially go public sometime in March, and hopes to raise $3 billion with the IPO, which would make Snap itself valued at over $20 billion. Will you be buying Snap stock when it goes on sale? Let us know in the comments!

We’re about to find out how much our Snaps are worth

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With Snapchat’s initial public offering (IPO) looming ever closer, we are about to find out just how much our Snaps are worth to the company. According to sources speaking to Re/code, we’ll finally get to see Snapchat’s closely-guarded financial information and plans for operating as a public company sometime next week when it publicly files for an IPO.

Snap Inc’s IPO could occur as soon as March following a nine-week “road show” where it markets the company to potential investors. With over 100 million active users, mostly in the elusive 13-24 age group, Snapchat will garner a lot of interest.

See also:

These are the Snapchat Spectacles

December 11, 2016

Analysts expect Snap Inc to be valued at somewhere between $20-25 billion – that’s an even greater sum than Facebook paid to acquire WhatsApp a few years back. Rumor has it that late in the negotiations Google tried to offer WhatsApp even more than Facebook’s offer but was too late to sway their decision.

Snapchat has already filed confidential information with the SEC, an opportunity only available to companies planning an IPO that have less than a billion dollars in revenue. If Snap Inc’s valuation meets expectations, it will be the largest U.S. IPO since Facebook in 2012. Interestingly, Facebook failed to acquire the company for $3 billion dollars a few years ago.

The financial data is contained in the S-1 prospectus document Snap filed last year as a necessary precursor to its IPO. The S-1 document includes background on the company’s activities, financial data and corporate governance information for potential investors. Despite its eight-page length, an S-1 can take 1000 hours to complete.

Android emoji – everything you need to know

Emoji seem to have taken over the world, with emoticons quickly becoming a dying tongue around the inter webs. And for good reason; these little icons offer a convenient and friendly way to express emotions. Even turds look cute when pictured as emoji!

But what about us Android users and enthusiasts? You may recall that for a while emoji just showed up as lame squares, and in some cases that continues to be the case. This is because the first major phone maker to adopt these was Apple, in an attempt to attract more users from Japan (where emoji first became popular). It didn’t take long for this to explode and become the amazingly popular trend it now is, with most smartphone users adopting the cute hieroglyphs.

See also:

Where did emoji come from?

November 2, 2016

Want to learn more about how emoji came to be? We have gone through the whole story in a separate post, which you will find right above. What matters here is that Android now has support for emoji (and has for a while, of course), but your experience will vary depending on multiple factors. Our plan here is to take you through an extensive guide on the Android emoji experience. Shall we get started?

Not always supported!

While Android does officially support emoji, these cute icons don’t exactly work with every device. Emoji officially entered the Android world with version 4.1 Jelly Bean, but those were black and white versions of the colored symbols. It wasn’t until Android 4.4 KitKat that Google decided to integrate colored emoji to their operating system. Then came Android 7.0, which brought compatibility with Unicode 9 emoji.

This means your experience will vary depending on the device and software version you are touting. It’s worth noting the vast majority of people are somewhere above Android 4.1, though. According to Statista, only about 2% of Android owners were using anything under Android 4.1 as of September 2016. This means most of you can enjoy emoji at least to a certain extent.

You probably know whether your phone sports emoji support or not, and how these would look. Are you seeing a bunch of squares when iPhone users send you messages? Do you see simpler icons in black and white? You know the deal.

Apps with emoji support

Regardless of whether your phone supports emoji or not, the experience won’t be as streamlined as we wish. Some applications will get emoji support only with certain Android versions. The guys over at caniemoji.com have put together a table clearly showing where each of the most popular apps stand. Let’s take a look.

Android emoji – everything you need to know

We will go through some of the most popular apps with native emoji capabilities.

Facebook Messenger

This tool, which has replaced every other form of communication for many of us, comes with integrated support for emoji. There is a button on the bottom corner of the screen, when you open a conversation, which shows four little faces. Just tap on it and you will be presented with a plethora of emoji to use on your conversations.

Furthermore, if you are worried about having emoji support for text messaging, you will be glad to know the app can also replace your stock SMS app.

Download Facebook Messenger

WhatsApp

In WhatsApp you can simply open a conversation and tap the happy face icon located on the bottom-left corner of the screen. There’s all kinds of emoji there!

Download WhatsApp

Hangouts

We know it’s hard to get people to use Hangouts, but also know the true Android fans out there stay true to Google’s messaging service and utilize it whenever they get a chance, so we just had to add this service here.

Getting to the emoji is easy. Open a conversation and look at the bottom-left corner of the screen. There will be a happy face there, which will unveil all supported emoji with simple tap.

Download Hangouts

Google Messenger

Most Android phones nowadays come with Messenger pre-installed, but that wasn’t always the case. Some phones still prefer going with alternative apps. The good news is anyone can get this application from the Google Play Store.

This SMS app is simple, yet feature-full. But let’s get to the point – one of its wonders is native emoji support. Simply open or start an SMS conversation and look towards the bottom-right section of the screen. Once again, the smiley face will be there. Tap it to see all available emoji.

Download Google Messenger

Google Allo

Allo is Google’s own WhatsApp-like service. The application links to your phone number and Google account, offering all kinds of neat messaging features. Among them is full emoji support. These can be found on the bottom-right corner of a conversation screen.

Download Google Allo

Snapchat

Snapchat and its disposable nature also make for a good emoji conversation. You can even create your own emoji characters! They call these “Bitmoji”, but that is a whole other story. The point is you can totally make use of all those happy faces within the app.

They become available when creating a snap or sending a message. Within the message screen, simply open a conversation and the option will appear on the bottom-right corner of the screen.

Download Snapchat

Skype

Still using Skype? You can enjoy emoji too! Just open any thread and find it on the bottom-left area of the screen, next to the text input option.

Download Skype

Keyboards with emoji support

Sometimes you just don’t want to deal with app solutions. All these services have emoji options in varying areas and deal with them in different ways, making for an inconsistent experience. Using emoji straight from the keyboard may be a better alternative. There is a sea of keyboards with emoji support out there, but we will give you a few of the most popular ones to get you started.

Gboard

Want to stick with Google applications? This is the tech giant’s very own alternative and works like a charm, especially when trying to send cute turd emoji to your friends. The main feature here is the ability to search for these, as opposed to simply browsing through them. If you know what your emoji looks like, you can just type in a description and find the right icon (e.g. poop).

The process takes a couple steps. Find the comma button, located towards the bottom-left area of the keyboard. Press and hold, then select the smiley face. There will then be a search option right above the emoji, if you would rather conduct a search.

Download Gboard

Swiftkey

Swiftkey continues to be a favorite among many an Android user, mostly for its magical prediction and customization prowess, but it is also great for sending emoji. Just press and hold the enter button (bottom-right area of the keyboard) to see all your options.

 

Download Swiftkey

Swype

Swype is another very popular keyboard. And yes, it does also feature emoji support.  It is not the most convenient way to emoji, but support is there. Simply start typing something like “smile” and the respective emoji will appear in the prediction options.

Keep in mind this is the only paid app in this app. It costs $0.99, but they do offer a free trial.

Download Swype
See also:

Guess which country uses the most emoji every day? ?

September 10, 2016

Wrapping up

You are now ready to join the emoji party! How hit the comments and tell us which emoji are your favorite. Also, how do you use emoji? From apps? From keyboards?

Snapchat gets a refreshed interface and improved search function

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A couple of weeks ago, Snapchat rolled out an update to beta testers on Android that brought a few new features to the popular app. The testing phase has apparently successfully ended, as the update has now left beta and is available to all users.

The new update brings a few minor changes. The first change is visual, as the app is now a bit more colorful. It has a blue bar on top for Chats and a purple bar for Stories. Snapchat also decided to move the Discover strip previously found on top of the Stories section down to the bottom.

The second change is an enhanced search function. It is always accessible on top, so no matter where you are in the app, you always have access to it. Even when you launch the camera to shoot a video or take a picture, the search bar remains on top for easy access.

See also:

Snapchat’s acquisition of Cimagine could signal a big push into AR

December 26, 2016

Additionally, the new search bar makes it easier for you to find what you’re looking for, as it divides the results into sections including Quick Chat, Groups, My Friends, and New Friends.

The new update that brings Snapchat to version 10 is already available, so if you’re interested in trying out the new features, just update your app via the Google Play Store. In case you don’t have the app installed on your device and would like to join the Snapchat community, you can download it by clicking the button below.

Download Snapchat

Facebook may get even more annoying with new mid-video ads

If I ever get to meet him (which I probably won’t), I have a lot to say to Mark Zuckerberg, and they’re not good things. And to make it worse, industry sources now report that Facebook may start inserting ads in the middle of videos that you watch on the social network. Pls, Mark, can we not.

See also:

Facebook ads are now more resistant to ad blockers

August 9, 2016

We all know what Facebook wants to become: the king of videos. If I think about it, when I first started Facebook a decade or so ago, I rarely saw any videos on my feed. I simply did not have to worry about random videos playing without my permission as I scrolled down the app. Well, starting few years ago, Mark Zuckerberg’s video-centric initiatives became quite clear. Facebook introduced live-streaming features, video profiles, and a lot of clips of cats and dogs. It even added Snapchat-like features to its Messenger app, which, by the way, might literally be the worst thing I’ve ever used. The camera doesn’t focus properly. Ever. And it’s filled with bugs that just make you want to take your phone and bury it deep inside the Earth’s inner core.

At any rate, it looks like now that Facebook is more video-centric – for better or worse ­– Zuckerberg is ready to make some money out of it. The company had previously said that its users were watching 100 million hours of videos a day. Imagine how much you could make if you turn that sort of behavior into a business! Well, that’s exactly what might happen according to some reports.

The company had previously said that its users were watching 100 million hours of videos a day. Imagine how much you could make if you turn that sort of behavior into a business!

Apparently, Facebook is testing a new mid-roll ad format, which lets video publishers insert an ad in between their clips. This means that in the future, after watching a video for 20 seconds or more, you might have to watch a commercial or two to continue with the video. Yes, it’s going to be very annoying. But this isn’t something new per se. YouTube has been doing it for a long time now.

Unlike major video platforms, Zuckerberg did not allow pre-roll video ads which run before a video starts, so ad revenue from Facebook clips was almost non-existent. According to sources, the decision to have mid-roll video ads in some clips comes after BuzzFeed executives complained that they weren’t making enough money from their Tasty videos. If Facebook does decide to have mid-video ads, it will only affect clips that run for at least 90 seconds, and the ad appears after the video runs for at least 20 seconds. The company will reportedly sell the ads and share 55 percent of all sales with publishers.

Though most of the videos that I see and watch on Facebook are shorter than 90 seconds, Facebook’s decision may become a bit of a nuisance. In all honesty though, if those vapid Tasty videos start carrying mid-video ads, I would gladly unlike their page.

What are your thoughts on Facebook’s rumored mid-roll ads? Let us know in the comments below!

5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps Weekly

Welcome to the 172nd edition Android Apps Weekly! Also, Happy New Year! Here are the headlines from the last week:

  • Square Enix has put a ton of its games on sale. This is great news because their games are usually expensive. On the block are seven Dragon Quest games, most of their Final Fantasy titles, Chrono Trigger, Adventures of Mana, Secret of Mana, Chaos Rings III, and Romancing SaGa 2. Most of these are great games and faithful ports from the original.
  • Snapchat purchased an Israeli startup called Cimagine. The price was between $30 million and $40 million. The popular opinion is that Snapchat plans on delving further into the augmented reality space and this company is going to help them do it. For those who don’t know, Cimagine is a company that lets companies show how their products look in the real world with virtual devices.
  • We released our official lists for the best Android apps, best Android games, and most controversial apps and games. Our pick for the best Android app was Chrooma Keyboard. The best game was Crashlands. Finally, the most controversial app or game was Pokemon Go. The lists are live on Android Authority and on YouTube if you want to see the all of the selections yourself.
  • Nintendo has officially put up Super Mario Run on Android for pre-registration. That means the game’s release is fairly imminent. It had a good run in its first week on iOS, although things are cooling off now. You’ll also get a notification when the game is out to the public. We’re all but certain that it will be out before the end of January 2017.
  • While we’re on the topic, it turns out that Super Mario Run is having problems getting people to pay. A report this week showed that only about 1-2% of those who downloaded the game actually bought it. It has also been free-falling through the charts as the game’s hot release starts to cool down. At this point, let’s just wait and see what happens when it comes to Android.

For even more Android apps and games news, updates, and releases, check out this week’s newsletter by clicking here! There you’ll find a ton of information that we didn’t have time for here. You can use the form below to sign up for the newsletter and we’ll deliver it to your virtual door every Sunday! Also, don’t forget to check out the Android Authority app for even faster updates!

Android Apps Weekly!
Subscribe to the Apps Weekly newsletter.

Five Nights at Freddy’s: Sister Location

[Price: $2.99]
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Sister Location is the latest game in the popular horror franchise. It brings back a number of mechanics from previous games that helped make those games popular. Yes, that includes the classic jump scares. There were also some additional stuff added in to make the game a little more well rounded. A ton of people have already been diving in to find the hidden meanings of the story behind the game. It’s pretty good, relatively inexpensive, and there are no in-app purchases.

Download now on Google Play!


5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps WeeklyPigment

[Price: Free with optional subscription]
Pigment is a coloring book app that’s aimed at adults. Thankfully, it’s also good for kids. The base app includes 300 free pages for you to color and you can buy more if you subscribe. It features tap-to-fill mechanics and you have access to eight different coloring tools. You’ll be able to use your finger or a stylus if you have one. It has had some crashing issues, but we didn’t experience them so your mileage may vary. It’s worth a shot if you like these types of things.

Download now on Google Play!

5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps Weekly


5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps WeeklyRollerCoaster Tycoon Classic

[Price: $5.99]
Rollercoaster Tycoon Classic is a port of the original rollercoaster sim from PC. This version comes with both Rollercoaster Tycoon 1 and 2 so you’re essentially getting two games for the price of one. Altogether, there are 95 scenarios to play through, controls that have been redone for touch screens, and tons of nostalgic value. It’s suffering through some early release bugs, but overall it’s been a positive release. There are also no in-app purchases.

Download now on Google Play!


5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps WeeklyFastKey Launcher

[Price: Free]
FastKey Launcher is a new launcher that claims wicked fast app search. It accomplishes this feat by having a keyboard baked right into the home screen so you can immediately start searching. You can also make calls and perform other tasks directly from the home screen. Otherwise, it’s a simple and light launcher that works pretty well. Some have reported bugs so do beware of those. At the very least, the app is entirely free.

Download now on Google Play!

5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps Weekly


5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps WeeklyThe Walking Dead: Season Three

[Price: $4.99 in-app purchases]
The Walking Dead: Season Three is the latest game in Telltale’s critically acclaimed The Walking Dead franchise. It continues the story line as per the comic books. There are even throwbacks to characters and events that happened in the first two seasons. It follows a lot of the same mechanics as the previous games and it also has similar graphics. It’s $4.99 and you can buy additional seasons as in-app purchases. Or you can buy the season pass and get every episode. There are some early issues that’ll be fixed eventually. It’s good.

Download now on Google Play!


Related best app lists:

If we missed any big Android apps or games news, tell us about them in the comments! To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.

Snapchat’s acquisition of Cimagine could signal a big push into AR

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Snapchat looks like it will be adding some augmented reality features to its messaging app in the near future. The company has reportedly, and quietly, acquired an AR startup in Israel called Cimagine, and the price was allegedly between $30 million to $40 million.

See also:

These are the Snapchat Spectacles

2 weeks ago

TechCrunch reports that Cimagine, which launched in 2012, created technology that allows companies to show how their products look in the real world with virtual devices. Coca-Cola was among its many clients before the acquisition by Snap Inc, the recently renamed parent company of Snapchat.

Snapchat has already become a hit among many users for its animated stickers that can be superimposed on a person’s videos. It also recently began selling Snapchat Spectacles, in special flash sales in many US cities. While these are more of a marketing gimmick than a real push to sell hardware, it could offer a glimpse into the future of Snapchat. It’s possible people could wear future versions of those glasses to see AR visuals selling products and services in the real world.

Do you think that Snapchat is about to enter the augmented reality market in a bigger way with this new acquisition? Let us know your thoughts and impressions in the comments!

Snapchat update adds long-awaited group messaging feature

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In the latest Snapchat update, Snap Inc. has added group messaging functionality to its photo messaging app. Though it was previously limited to one-on-one conversations, Snapchat’s new group messages allow for up to 16 people to take part in chats. This feature appears in the Snapchat update to version 9.45.0.0.

As with a regular Snapchat message, group Snaps can be opened once and played once before they are deleted and will remain available in the group for 24 hours after being sent. The new interface also allows you to tap another members’ names to jump into an individual conversation with them.

Additionally, the latest Snapchat update introduces a ‘Scissors’ tool which lets users cut out part of their Snap to create a sticker for their sticker drawer. This feature will appear on iOS first, with the Android rollout arriving later.

See also:

These are the Snapchat Spectacles

3 days ago

Recent updates

Spectacles

November 14: Spectacles are Snap Inc’s new glasses which feature an integrated camera, allowing users to record 10-second videos and send them via Snapchat. They’re on sale now for $129.99 at select locations and you can read our early thoughts on them in the link above.

Snapchat World Lenses

November 9: Snapchat has been updated with an augmented reality component known as World Lenses which overlays digital effects into the real world. The AR effects, which appear in circular icons at the bottom of the camera interface, include a torch animation which lights up a scene, snowfall, and floating hearts.

Snapchat Formatting

August 31: Snapchat has introduced a number of new formatting features for customizing the captions of your Snaps. You can add italics, bold, and underlined styles simply by pressing and holding on the text, and if you’re taking a video Snap, you can now tag a caption anywhere in video and it will remain attached to that object for the duration.

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Instagram update brings live video on Instagram Stories

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Natee Meepian / Shutterstock.com

And the app is adding more Snapchat-esque features with the new disappearing photos and videos in Instagram Direct. These update should start appearing in the next few weeks.

See also:

The official Android Instagram account finally goes live

7 days ago

We saw rumors of Instagram adding live video features to its Stories back in October, and just a few days ago the company CEO Kevin Systrom confirmed those rumors, saying that Instagram would follow the footsteps of its parent company Facebook by focusing on video-centric user experience.

Well, that day has come: today, the social network giant unveiled two major updates. The first is live video on Instagram Stories. Simply swipe right from your feed to open your device’s camera and click “Start Live Video.” Like Facebook, your friends might get a notification that you are live, and once you’re done, your live story will disappear from the app. When someone is live, you will see a “Live” sign under their profile, and again, the interaction is very similar to the one on Facebook – you can comment and like as much as you want during the live broadcast.

The second update is what the company calls “disappearing photos and videos for groups and friends” in Instagram Direct. Essentially, it’s Snapchat built right into Instagram. We saw the launch of Instagram Direct last year – which allows users to message one another privately – and since then, the company says the number of users each month grew from 80 million to 300 million.

Disappearing photos and videos will allow these users to capture a moment by taking a photo or a video and share it with anyone privately, and as you might have guessed, they disappear once they are viewed by the recipient. Simply swipe right into the camera and tap the arrow to send once you’re done. If you’ve ever used Snapchat, everything should look extremely familiar: you can save your photo or video and edit it by adding a text or drawing. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t be able to tell if it’s Snapchat or Instagram just by looking at the UI.

Disappearing photos and videos will allow these users to capture a moment by taking a photo or a video and share it with anyone privately, and as you might have guessed, they disappear once they are viewed by the recipient.

It seems like companies will continue to aspire to be more like Snapchat in the future: Facebook is probably the most blatant case, ranging from Messenger and WhatsApp to its very own Snapchat clone Lifestage. But hey, you know what they say: imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Facebook is probably the most blatant case, ranging from Messenger and WhatsApp to its very own Snapchat clone Lifestage. But hey, you know what they say: imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Will you be using Instagram’s new features? Let us know once you get these updates!